What is PolarTREC?

STEM at the Poles! Research Experiences for Formal and Informal Educators in the Polar Regions is the newest iteration of PolarTREC. The educators (formal and informal) come from the United States and spend 3-6 weeks participating in hands-on field research experiences in the Arctic or Antarctica, working side by side with scientists. STEM at the Poles is professional development for educators across all Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines connecting them to the polar regions and the research community; developing Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) resources; and changing how they teach STEM in both informal and formal learning environments. PolarTREC is funded through awards from the National Science Foundation and administered by the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS).

Image: The 2019 PolarTREC Cohort and project management team pose for a photo outside the Syun-Ichi Akasofu Building on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus during orientation week.

Expedition Timeline

Use the interactive timeline below to explore with the new cohort of educators and researchers!

2019 Expedition Timeline

Latest Journals

15 July 2019 -- How does a teacher prepare to be out in the research field?

By: Monica Nunez
A view of the Arctic tundra outside of Utqiagvik, Alaska.
Being in the classroom is something, that as a teacher, I am well prepared to do on a daily basis. As an educator/explorer, being out in the research field is completely different. I have to prepare myself physically and mentally for what is to come. As my countdown to head out to Utqiagvik,…

14 July 2019 Packing with Ranger

By: Piper Bartlett-Browne
Ranger spends her one year birthday helping me pack.
With only two weeks to go until I head out on my expedition aboard the USCGC Healy, I am getting together all the items on my packing list and preparing for August in the Chukchi Sea. I have been corresponding frequently with the PolarTREC staff and Deanna Wheeler, an alumna of the program and…

12 July 2019 To the Arctic and Back Again

By: Alejandra Martinez
GVSU and FUI team
Our class mascot, SloMo and I have arrived back home to Texas. The last month has been such an incredible experience. I learned so much about phenology, plants, and ecosystems, but mostly how science works in the field. GVSU and FUI team. Photo by Jeremy May I am still in awe of the people I got…

PolarTREC Updates

Now Archived! PolarConnect Event with Ale Martinez

Martinez in the field

Teacher Ale Martinez and the Phenology and Vegetation in the Warming Arctic 2019 Research Team broadcast live from Toolik Field Station on Tuesday, 25 June 2019. The team is studying environmental variability and increased temperature on tundra plant phenology, growth, species composition and ecosystem function. You can read more about her experience and the science here. The one-hour event is now archived and can be viewed here.

Register Here

Mike Penn's Antarctic Expedition Photos

Mike Penn's Antarctic Expedition Photos

Full resolution photos are now available online for PolarTREC teacher Mike Penn's Antarctic Automatic Weather Stations expedition to various locations around McMurdo Station and Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station, Antarctica, that took place from November 24th to December 27th, 2018.

Upcoming Seminars

Seminar for ARCUS

Larry Hamilton, University of New Hampshire - What People Know: Asking About the Arctic on U.S. General-Public Surveys When: Friday, 3 May 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm EDT Where: Consortium for Ocean Leadership building (1201 New York Avenue, NW Washington D.C) or via live webinar Register here

Helen M. Aderman, 2019 Arctic Indigenous Scholar, for a seminar/webinar entitled, “The Bristol Bay Marine Ecosystem & Subsistence Resource Needs”. When: Monday, 6 May 2019 at 12:00-1:00 p.m. EDT at the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) office in Washington, D.C. A live webinar is also available to those unable to attend in person. Registration is required for both the in-person and live-streamed events. Register here

Find people, expeditions, and resources

PolarTREC has hosted 193 expeditions and houses over 2,000 resources for educational use.

Locate Team Members

Check out our member directory to locate a team member from a current or previous PolarTREC expedition.

Follow Expeditions

All current and past expeditiions are listed in reverse chronological order for viewing.

Find Resources

Lesson plans, activities, articles, web links and more can be found in our resources section.